Will you just get out of here? Really–go outside!

How much outdoor time are kids really getting? Well a new survey (sponsored by Clif bars) of more than 1,000 parents of kids ages 6-12 found some disturbing things.

  • On average, kids today have eight hours less per week of outdoor playtime than their parents did.
  • While 96 percent of parents report their kids have experience playing video games, far fewer say their children have visited a national or state park (74%) or gone hiking (61%).
  • On average, most parents say 13 hours is the ideal amount of outdoor play per week. However, according to the survey, parents admit their kids spend about 14 hours in front of a screen, while they spend on average nine hours engaged in outdoor play each week.

To help CLIF Kid encourage kids to get outside, Richard Louv, best-selling author and outdoor play advocate, will serve as Chief Outdoor Officer for the 2012 Backyard Game of the Year Contest and Playoffs. Louv’s best-selling book “Last Child in the Woods” sparked an international conversation about the relationship between children and nature. Louv coined the term Nature-Deficit Disorder® which has become the defining phrase of this important issue. His new book “The Nature Principle” offers a vision of the future, in which our lives are as immersed in nature as they are in technology to better our psychological, physical and spiritual health.

To help CLIF Kid encourage kids to get outside, Richard Louv, best-selling author and outdoor play advocate, will serve as Chief Outdoor Officer for the 2012 Backyard Game of the Year Contest and Playoffs. Louv’s best-selling book “Last Child in the Woods” sparked an international conversation about the relationship between children and nature. Louv coined the term Nature-Deficit Disorder® which has become the defining phrase of this important issue. His new book “The Nature Principle” offers a vision of the future, in which our lives are as immersed in nature as they are in technology to better our psychological, physical and spiritual health.

Contest Details 
Backyard game ideas can be submitted today through June 17, 2012 at www.CLIFKidBackyardGame.com.
For 2012, CLIF Kid is adding an additional finalist slot for a total of six kids who will be flown with a parent to San Francisco to compete in the CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year Playoffs in July 2012. Each finalist will receive a Marin Bikes bicycle and a Bell helmet, the five runners-up will each win a $1,000 scholarship and the grand prize winner will receive a $10,000 scholarship.

Contest entries must allow at least two kids to play together and can utilize common household items such as balls, hula hoops, beanbags and, most importantly, kids’ imagination for hours of fun.

The winning game rules and equipment will be donated to Children & Nature Network. The non-profit organization, co-founded by Richard Louv to reconnect kids with nature, will share the winning game with their national network of educators, researchers and community leaders to further inspire kids to get outside and play. Please visit www.childrenandnature.org for more information about the organization.

Whatcha think?